Today is Tom Selleck’s 73rd birthday, which reminds me of a funny story.
Well, it’s funny to me.
We’ll get to that in a minute, but first…
Selleck, star of stage and screen is best known for his work as a detective in Hawaii in the series Magnum, P.I.
and most recently his near decade long run as the Police Commissioner in Bluebloods.
I’m a big fan; of course I was quite upset about Linda’s departure, but at least there was no crock-pot involved.
Selleck was born in Michigan, his mom was a stay at home mom, and his dad was an executive and real estate investor. His family roots go back to the earliest European settlers in America.
Somewhere along the way, mom and dad decided to move to California; Tom played basketball at the University of Southern California, and was a frat boy.
A drama coach at USC saw him and advised him to try acting, which he did, and we’re grateful for that.
He served our country in the Vietnam Era in the California National Guard.
His first appearance on TV came when he was a college senior and was a contestant on The Dating Game.
Shortly thereafter, he was “discovered,” did a Pepsi commercial, and a few others, Magnum came along, and the rest is superstardom history.
I know, I know, everyone knows about Tom Selleck, but what’s with the funny story, right?
Well, if you’ve read the About page on this here blog, you know I spent a major portion of my life with “the phone company.”
I moved from job to job and state to state as I crawled my way to the lower portion of the middle.
In the early 1980s, I found myself in Orlando on 500 South Orange Avenue working for Southern Bell Telephone as a business office rep.
I had just transferred there from Melbourne, Florida, and was a relative unknown to the other service reps – of which there were plenty – in the building.
Back then, we answered with our last name, you know, “This is Mr. Brads, how can I help you?” Well, Mr. Brads was always returned as Mr. Graham or Mr. Brown or some other error, so I started going by Mr. Davis. No one ever got that wrong.
The phone rang, I answered on the first ring as we had to do then, and said, “This is Mr. Davis, how may I help you?” only to get the reply, “Who are you?”
Now, I thought that was obvious, and said my fake name one more time. The response was “When did you get here?” and still not sure if this was internal or external, I politely answered that I’d just transferred from Melbourne, Florida that week, and was indeed new to the office.
The reply was, “Oh, this is Carolyn in Unit 3, and I didn’t know we had any new people.”
There was more chatter, pleasantry, and after answering the business question she had, I was about to say goodbye when she said, “What Unit are you in, I’ll come introduce myself.”
I said, Unit 2, and I’ll be easy to spot, because I look exactly like Tom Selleck.
This just in: I did not.
Within minutes, I noticed the door to the office open and a woman standing arms akimbo scanning the office.
I waved, and said, “Are you looking for Mr. Davis?”
To which she replied, “Well, you don’t look a thing like Tom Selleck!”
Her disappointment was epic.
But, to this day, she calls me Tom.
So, happy birthday, Tom, and if you ever need a stand-in…